German classified documents show Russia could expand its war on Ukraine by attacking NATO ally countries next year, according to reports.
German newspaper BILD published classified documents outlining how Germany plans to prepare for an offensive by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The outlet based its claims on information obtained from the German Ministry of Defense and said armed forces in Europe are preparing for an attack by Russia on Eastern Europe, which could include a cyber offensive.
The “Alliance Defense 2024” is one of the scenarios being watched that could start in February and include the mobilization of about 200,000 Russian soldiers, according to the report.
With troops in place, and funding from the west diminishing, Putin would reportedly have the troops attack Ukrainian forces in a “spring offensive.”
BILD described a scenario that shows Russia, by July, could begin launching “severe cyberattacks” in the Baltics, drawing dissatisfaction from Russians living in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Then in September, clashes could escalate, according to the classified documents, and be used by Putin as a reason to launch the next phase called, “Zapad 2024,” which is described as a large-scale military exercise involving about 50,000 Russian troops in Western Russia and Belarus.
According to the documents, Russia could then mobilize troops and mid-range missiles to Kaliningrad, which is a Russian territory located in between the NATO countries of Poland and Lithuania.
BILD also reported that by December, Russia could use the U.S. presidential election as an opportunity to disburse more propaganda of border conflict or riots with numerous deaths, to fuel violence in the Suwalki Gap, bringing on unrest.
The following month, in January 2025, Russia would then accuse Western allies of planning moves against Putin’s regime after the UN Security Council meeting, which the Russian leader could use to rally troops in the Baltics and Belarus by March 2025.
In the case of the scenario outlined, BILD reported, the leaked documents said Germany would deploy 30,000 troops for defense, as about 70,000 Russian troops are based in Belarus.
The document said NATO would take “measures for credible deterrence” by May 2025, in response to the buildup of Russian troops, and to prevent combat between Russian and Western troops.
BILD explained that the documents outline a potential scenario which was put together by German army generals and European allies taking Russia’s threat seriously.
Still, Russia and Putin have denied they would escalate the conflict with Ukraine beyond the country’s borders.